Christ in Me
...yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing. ~ Galatians 2:16-21
This is another of the texts from Paul that was so meaningful to Luther. It spoke to a feeling that was dear to him: Christ is alive!
We recite often at church - especially during the Easter Season - that "Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again." But maybe we should add with some emphasis: Christ is Alive!
And then Christ is alive in me...
What does that mean?
Remembering that "Christ" is not Jesus last name, but instead the eternal second person of the Trinity: the messiah, the anointed one.
The one about whom we say:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
One with the father. True God.
A divine mystery. Christ from the beginning and Christ with us. Christ alive with us.
For Paul, and for the reformers, the law was a punishing thing. But a living Christ made the law useless in terms of salvation. It made the law useless in terms of truly living.
Instead salvation comes from a God who wanted to close the gap between the divine and the creation. A God who is always reaching us to show us what life truly is.
What a fully resurrected life truly is.
One in which Christ lives in us, loves us, and loves through us.
Live in me Christ Jesus, and love through me in ways that I may know what live truly is. Amen